We have a deep-seated passion for familiarizing ourselves with
all things beauty from all over the world. From secrets to products to brands, we want to collect all the best beauty dirt, and we’ve been reaching out to some of our favorite industry comrades to find out what our beauty-loving friends across the pond are super obsessed with right now. And more specifically, the brand and product obsessions we’re either completely, or at least, less, familiar with over here stateside.
Just last week we divulged
12 non-basic French beauty brands that most American shoppers haven’t heard of (and if you have, props to you!) so this week, we’re jumping over to the UK to sleuth out the best British beauty buys found affordably priced at the drugstore. To help, we asked beauty and wellness editor Amy Lawrenson (who’s written for Byrdie, Elle, and Women’s Health) and Alyss Bowen, Who What Wear UK’s beauty-gifted social media editor. Here, we’re revealing the top drugstore beauty picks British girls love. Keep scrolling!
The very first British drugstore beauty brand Lawrenson mentioned to me was Makeup Obsession, specifically it customizable and refillable eye shadow palettes. The 12-shadow palette itself will only set you back a measly three bucks and then every single shadow (they have so many gorgeous colors to choose from!) will be an additional $3. So, in total, the palette will come in at just under $40, which in palette speak is still pretty darn budget-friendly.
Since it’s summer and we’re super keen on getting a sunkissed glow as fast (and effortlessly) as possible, we’d next opt for this handy foundation mix-in, which infuses your favorite formula with an extra-subtle but very flattering hint of sheen. It’s a consistent best seller.
Cruelty-free, fragrance-free, vegan, and über-affordable skincare? Um, yes. Revolution is a British beauty favorite and another top pick that rolled off Lawrenson’s tongue almost immediately. We have our eye on this gold-flecked rosehip seed oil formula which, investment-wise, is a fraction of the commitment.
Did you know experts say the optimal percentage of hyaluronic acid is between 1% and 2%? This formula from the brand fits the bill and is less than a weekly coffee habit.
There’s nothing better than a chicly packaged little lippie, and these clickable matte formulations from Sleek Makeup (another one of Lawrenson’s top recs) satisfie the itch. It’s one of the British beauty brand’s best sellers and delivers a diffused, mousse-like finish that won’t duck your lips dry of necessary hydration. Oh, and since they’re only $7 apiece, feel free to buy every hue in the range.
True statement: Glitter is taking over the world. (Just scroll through Insta or check out our latest red carpet coverage to see what we mean.) That said, we don’t want to spend a fortune, nor do want to stoop quite so low as to buy the stuff you’d find at the craft store. These pretty loose pigments are the ultimate compromise—expensive, sparkling payoff without a gut-punch to your wallet.
According to Lawreson, YourGoodSkin is a British beauty staple for, well, really good skin. And, she says this specific cleanser is one of the best. Ultra-soothing, it gently nixes makeup and the inevitable oil and debris our complexions accumulate throughout the day.
As the brand’s best-selling hero product, this multi-faceted skin concentrate, which you’d use like a serum (post-cleanse, pre-cream) and helps to enhance your complexion’s natural balance for clinically proven results, is a must. (And you don’t have to pay an arm, leg, and eyebrow for it.)
In the market for a new grease-busting dry shampoo? Lawrenson says Colab makes some of the best drugstore-found formulas that British beauty girls love.
Not into fruity scents? The brand has a wide variety of scent options, and we’re equally intrigued by this volumizing elixir which smells of musk, bergamot, and magnolia.
We’re big into finding and testing the best dupes to replace (or at least sub in) for our favorite expensive formulas, and as Alyss Bowen told me, this drugstore buy is just as good as the Nars cult favorite. In fact, she says she can’t live without it.
She also swears by this budge-proof liquid eyeliner to nail the perfect cat-eye. (It promises bold 24-hour wear!)
So, technically, The Inkey List can’t be found at the drugstore, but the exciting new skincare brand from the UK is so effing affordable (and wish list–worthy) we had to give it a shoutout. Lucky for us, it recently became exclusively available at Sephora in the U.S. and features products with the industry’s most-wanted yet minimal (in number) ingredients.
Applauded for its amazing brightening benefits, vitamin C is one of the most in-demand ingredients in the world of skincare. This $10 cream is the perfect way to dip your toe in while lessening the appearance of dullness, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation.
According to Alyss, Simple’s Micellar Water is still one of the best for removing stubborn eye makeup. Plus, it’s so affordable, we recommend stocking up for the entire year in one go. (You’ll thank us on those late bleary-eyed nights after one too many cocktails when makeup removal seems impossible.)
Not into micellar formulas? The British beauty brand has a wipe for that! These gentle cloths are made without harsh or irritating ingredients and remove even the most stubborn waterproof mascara in one fell swoop. Plus, what’s better than getting an epic pack of four for less than $20?
“The British beauty brand Soap & Glory does great body products, and their sugar scrub is seriously great and super-affordable!” Alyss gushed to me. The secret? Crushed brown sugar, sweet lime, almond oil, and macadamia grains.
Oh, and beauty editors are also unanimously obsessed with the brand’s best-selling lip pumper which aside from the adorably cheeky name, transforms your pout into a shiny, pillowy, plumped-up dream. Next up, 12 Non-Basic Beauty Products French Women Love—and You’ve Never Heard Of.